for the top edge so no body gets cut you could rune some cheap 1/2" or
3/4" garden hose around and tied with cable ties the hose needs to be
cut along the length so it will fit over the edge of the metal.
With peace and brightest of blessings,
len & bev
"Be Content With What You Have And
May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In
A World That You May Not Understand."
Have someone do it for you.
You can also get cable covers from radio shack that are essentially the
same thing. I had to put them over electrical cords in my house to keep
the cockatoo from chewing them, until I built her her aviary. ;-)
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot
Steve, since you are just beginning, you might want to start your raised
beds lower the first year and then build onto them in later years. I have
some which are seasoned 2x12 lumber, seasoned as in pre-used. For now, it
is only that depth. However, I can add another 2x12 on top of the first
later as I add more compost, etc. I hold them in place with metal
electrical conduit tubing pieces driven on each side. Not fancy, but they
work very well. I have left the conduit higher than the edges and placed
ceramic garden-related bric-a-brac on them. One has a baby chick, one has
a dinosaur hatching from an egg, another has a turtle, etc. These are
picked up at garage sales, etc., for 50 cents or a dollar each and add
that visual interest. If you are not going to cover the conduit ends with
something, then you want to keep them below the top of the boards so as
not to cause injury.
The other beds are made from recycled concrete blocks which I can easily
add to as I prefer the beds be higher. The concrete blocks always give a
good place to sit while I work on the beds.
I will NOT use treated lumber, either pre-used or new, because of the
chemicals used in processing. I am in the last half of my life and
whatever might leach likely won't hurt me but I have young granddaughters
whose little bodies could be greatly affected by any leached chemicals.
It just is not worth the risk.
The first raised bed I made was four feet across; this is too wide to
easily reach from either side, so I have gone to three feet across. My
goal is to have my raised beds easily accessible from a wheelchair should
that ever become necessary which is why I have chosen methods allowing me
to add height over the years. I also have them far enough apart to use a
wheelchair or walker between them.
I read that someone said there isn't that much bending involved in
gardening. Well, maybe not, but if, like me, there are certain angles you
cannot bend your back without great discomfort, even a little bending is
better avoided. Of course, as we get older, bending and discomfort
becomes more of an issue.
Another advantage of raised beds is stability of the walking area between
the veggies. In a garden, the footing can be uneven due to tilling, but
with raised beds, the walking area is never disturbed. I became very
aware of this when my grandmother visited the first time.
I like my own raised beds so well that as I am able to do so, my "main"
garden will be converted to raised beds as well. Of course, the added
advantage of being able to hoop them as mini-greenhouses is very
attractive. In the main garden, I can plant such things as tomato plants
on the edges (two across) and the plants have the full advantage of the
soil under the pathways so I really don't lose much in square footage and
have great advantages gained by doing this.
As for temperature making a difference regarding materials, I don't see
either lumber or concrete blocks being dependent on weather unless the
blocks are mortared. Stacked blocks allow water to drain from the beds so
freezing water is not an issue.
For one raised bed, I used 5-ft pieces of conduit at each corner to hold
the boards in place. Those extended conduit pieces make good storage for
my liter pop bottles used for hot-houses when that purpose is done. I use
both the 2-liter and 3-liter sizes; the 3-liter fits nicely over the
2-liter giving 2-for-1 storage area.
Just my thoughts.
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